Here’s the straight talk: Earning an executive MBA is an investment no matter how you look at it. Even the least expensive options are going to set you back $50,000, but you’ll be sacrificing at least some prestige. At the top schools, expect to pay upwards of $160,000 with the best programs soaring over $200K.
Now for the glass half full perspective: The career coaching, professional networks, and resume boosts an EMBA brings can lead to significant career advancements in future years. The Executive MBA Council (EMBAC) reported that 14.7% of students exiting an EMBA program in 2021 reported getting a raise by the time they exited the program (typically between 16 and 20 months). Another 36% of students reported receiving a promotion while 49% reported receiving more responsibilities in their jobs, and average compensation rose from $166,549 at the start of their programs to $190,989 at the end.
While there are multiple factors to consider when evaluating EMBA programs, Poets&Quants for Execs is here to shed some light on at least one variable: Total cost.
MOST EXPENSIVE EMBAS BY TOTAL COST
We scoured through school websites to find the tuition data on all of the 58 schools on our most recent Executive MBA Ranking. Not surprisingly, several of the top-ranked programs are among the most expensive. No. 1 Columbia Business School, for example, costs a whopping $219,720 for its 20-month program. Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management (No. 13) is the most expensive of them all at $222,192 while University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School (No. 14) is $210,900.
The average cost of an EMBA from our ranked schools is $123,415.
BARGAIN EMBA PROGRAMS TO CONSIDER
All other factors disregarded – location, program focus, tuition support, etc.. – if you’re looking for more of a bargain in your executive MBA, consider the 10 schools in the chart below.
BYU’s Marriott School (No 35) is the least expensive of all of our ranked EMBA programs at $50,018. While Georgia State (Robinson) tied with BYU at No. 35 in our ranking, it charges $26,000 more for its EMBA, coming in at $76,500.
The highest ranked school on the bargain list is No. 23 University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business at $62,807.
Bargain hunters should also check out P&Q’s 10 Best Executive MBA Programs Under $100K for a deeper look into programs that offer a good return on investment based on rank and price.
SCHOLARSHIPS AND EMPLOYER SUPPORT
One thing to keep in mind: The sticker prices at preferred EMBA programs aren’t necessarily the price students will pay. Many schools offer scholarships – some more generous than others – and several will help prospective students reach out to their employers for tuition assistance.
Some employers value continuing education for its professionals in order to train them for the business challenges in the evolving future-of-work.
That is especially true for employees who have shown a commitment to their firms and plan to use their EMBA degrees to advance their careers within their current organizations. It never hurts to ask.
See the chart below for a breakdown of cost at the top 10 schools in our ranking. Comparisons for all 58 schools can be found on the following pages.
Next page: Top 25 EMBA Program Costs For 2021-22